Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Happy to be Home
((Insert a picture of your house))
You know that feeling.
You've been away at school, sleeping in a twin bed with strangers coming in and out of your room at all hours of the night. The food is warm but not tasty. The walk to class can be cold and there's no dog to meet you at the door of your dorm. All you can think of is...home.
Or maybe you've been on a trip - a business trip, a vacation, a missions trip. It doesn't matter how remote or how extravagant, sooner or later you long for home. Your own bed, your own shower, your own uniquely stocked pantry and fridge. Your own remote. The ability to lounge around in your pajamas without being stared at.
You know that feeling. That longing to be home.
Maybe you feel it every day. You're up early and out the door, running, never walking. Kids to drop off, boss to answer to, dry cleaning to pick up, groceries to grab before dinner. Or perhaps you've got deadlines to meet, meetings to arrange, budgets to adjust, bottom lines to account for and clients to entertain. But when you walk in the door of your home, relief floods over you because you can slow down the pace, be yourself, and just...stop...for a while.
Do you know what I am talking about? Have you ever been happy to be home?
II Corinthians 5:20 tells us that we are ambassadors for Christ. Ambassadors don't live in their home country, but I am pretty sure they long for it. The work might be good, but nothing is as good as being home. Ask the next soldier you see and he'll tell you, it may be cool to represent the USA overseas, but there's nothing like being back on American soil. I have returned from Europe and Africa before and fought the urge to kiss the ground when I got off the airplane. There's nothing like being home.
The body of Christ, the church, is supposed to be our spiritual home. Ephesians 4 explains that within the body, we are all given gifts that are meant to build up each other - we are family and when we are together, it is like being at home. Unfortunately, for some people, being at church is more like visiting the in-laws or estranged family, rather than the warmth and comfort of a true home.
((Now insert a picture of your church))
So, how do you feel when you enter the doors of your church? Do you breathe a sigh of relief? Are you anxious to drop your bags and head into the sanctuary for some family time? Do you feel the warmth and familiarity of home?
This is a unique feeling within Christianity that you can have whenever you are with a believer, because we are all family. As children of God we have a bond that breeds a familiarity which surpasses understanding. But you should never feel the love and warmth of God's family more than when you are with the body of Christ in your own church home. That needs to be your safe haven where you get refreshed here on earth, where you long to be.
Because church should be where the body gathers to encourage each other, love each other, seek each other out and care for each other. It should be home.
So, it's the middle of the week. Are you longing for Sunday? Will you be happy to be home?